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CLASSROOM: 13 Film Lighting Techniques Every Filmmaker Should Know

15 May 2019

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CLASSROOM: 13 Film Lighting Techniques Every Filmmaker Should Know

How to Light a Film Set

Writer and producer Jason Hellerman writes:

Film lighting techniques make your commercial, movie, or TV show look cinematic. It will help your story pop off the screen. We break down every major technique.

Lighting techniques are invaluable for filmmakers at every level. For a director, they can help you communicate with your cinematographer. For a writer, they can help you craft words on the page that set the tone, and for the rest of the jobs on set, you’ll spend most of your time waiting for everyone to get the film lighting right. So don’t you want to know some lighting techniques so you can help out?

1. Natural Lighting

First up, let’s look at lights we don’t have to move. They move every hour of the day. Natural film lighting techniques are defined by utilizing the light that is already available at whatever location you choose. Most times, you head out on a location scout before you shoot and have that information. You also should think about the time of day you’re at those locations.

Natural lighting summary

  • Use bounce cards or flags to alter natural light
  • Make sure you do a location scout
  • Take time of day into account

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Photo Credit: No Film School

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